Meta Platforms, Amazon and Apple were noticeably absent from Comparably's annual ranking of the global companies with the best culture after topping the list last year.
The companies each made the top 15 last year — Meta at No. 7, Amazon at No. 13, and Apple at No. 14 — but were not included in the list of 50 companies for 2022.
It's not the first ranking the tech giants have fallen in this year, either: Meta and Apple both dropped more than 20 spots on Glassdoor's annual ranking of the best places to work in the U.S., from No.11 to No. 47 and No. 31 to No. 56, respectively. Amazon did not make the list for 2021 or 2022.
These companies have had a tumultuous past year, from privacy concerns to underperforming stocks, that would negatively affect the employee experience, Comparably CEO Jason Nazar tells CNBC Make It. "It's not always that the companies are performing poorly, either, but other companies are just outpacing them," he adds.
To be sure, employees lauded Meta, Amazon and Apple for their extensive benefits, professional development opportunities and ability to work on projects with wide-reaching impact — but such reviews weren't prevalent enough to boost their culture scores.
Meta's drop is hardly surprising given the public relations crises it has endured for the past year. On Glassdoor, employees expressed concern over unwanted public scrutiny, a lack of action from leadership on platform issues and uncertainty about the company's future.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement in October following whistleblower Frances Haugen's testimony in front of a Senate subcommittee about the platform's harmful impact on children and public safety.
"I'm sure many of you have found the recent coverage hard to read because it just doesn't reflect the company we know," Zuckerberg said. "We care deeply about issues like safety, well-being and mental health."
Reviews from current and former Apple employees on Comparably and Glassdoor also cited minimal work-life balance, erratic schedules and a high-stress, competitive environment.
On Comparably, Apple received a "C" rating for its office culture, and ranked 6th in office culture among its competitors — IBM, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Samsung are all ranked higher.
Workers at several Apple stores throughout the U.S. are planning to unionize, the Washington Post reported last month, pointing to stagnant wages and a lack of professional development opportunities.
"We are and have always been deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace," Apple said in a statement to the New York Times, responding to employee complaints about a "toxic" culture that had surfaced in September. "We take all concerns seriously and we thoroughly investigate whenever a concern is raised and, out of respect for the privacy of any individuals involved we do not discuss specific employee matters."
Andy Jassy, Amazon's CEO, acknowledged that the company could improve its treatment of employees during the GeekWire Summit in Seattle back in October. "I think if you have a large group of people like we do — we have 1.2 million employees — it's almost like a small country," he said. "There are lots of things you could do better."
Jassy has had a rough first 8 months on the job: Amazon's stock was the weakest performer among big tech companies last year, CNBC reports, though it is bouncing back after the company announced a 20-for-1 stock split earlier this month.
Apple, Meta and Amazon did not respond to CNBC Make It's request for comment.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect Apple's office culture rank compared to its competitors on Comparably's website. An earlier version misstated its position.
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